(As an African American who was born and raised in Chicago almost 60 years ago, I was amazed how much of this applied to me. I mean, tho the segregated South my African-American roots were anything but distantI had to keep nodding “Yep, that’s true.” – Ninure da Hippie)
Only a true Southerner knows the difference between a
“hissie fit” and a “conniption,” and that you don’t “have”
them, so much as you “pitch’ them.
Nobody but a true Southerner knows how many fish, collard
greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc. make up a mess.
A true Southerner can show or point out to you the general
direction of “yonder.”
A true Southerner knows exactly how long “directly” is, as
in “Going to town, be back directly.”
Even true Southern babies know that “Gimme some sugar” is
not a request for the white, granular sweet substance that
sits in a pretty little bowl in the middle of the table.
All true Southerners know exactly when “by and by” is. They
might not use the term, but they know the concept well.
True Southerners know instinctively that the best gesture of
solace for a neighbor who’s got trouble is a plate of hot
fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. (If the
trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large
True Southerners grow up knowing the difference between
“right near” and “a right far’ piece.” They know that “just
down the road” can be one mile or twenty.
True Southerners both know and understand the differences
between a redneck, a good ol’ boy, and po’ white trash.
No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the
flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.
True Southerners know that “fixin” can be used both as a
noun, verb, and adverb.
A true Southerner knows how to understand Southern: a booger
can be a resident of the nose, a descriptive (“That ol’
booger!”) or something that jumps out at you in the dark and
scares you spitless.
True Southerners make friends standing in lines. We don’t do
“queues,” we do “lines.” And when we’re in line, we talk to
Put 100 Southerners in a room and half of them will discover
they’re related, if only by marriage.
True Southerners never refer to one person as “y’all.”
True Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat
Every true Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon,
grits, and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that redeye gravy
is also a breakfast food; that fried green tomatoes are not
When you hear someone say, “Well, I called myself lookin’,”
you know you’re in the presence of a genuine Southerner.
Southerners say “sweet tea” and “sweet milk.” Sweet tea
indicates the need for sugar and lots of it – we do not like
our tea unsweetened; “sweet milk” means you don’t want
And a true Southerner knows you don’t scream obscenities at
little old ladies who drive 30 on the freeway. You say,
“Bless her heart” and go your way.
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